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Published studies on e-cigarettes

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Dear Department of Health,

The Government has recently announced its plans to ban e-cigarettes in Hong Kong. Can you please provide the following:

- List of published studies (peer-reviewed or otherwise) considered by the Department in relation to the latest e-cigarette policy (with full citation or at least author and article title);
- Policy conclusions drawn by the Department from the studies consulted above; and
- The number of e-cigarette users in Hong Kong broken down by age and year (from the earliest record to now).

Yours faithfully,

Kelvin Lee

Department of Health

Dear Mr Lee,

I refer to your email of 13.10.2018 requesting information related to
e-cigarettes.  

Please be informed that your request is being processed and we will revert
to you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

(Wilfred LAU)
for Director of Health

Department of Health

Dear Mr Lee,

I refer to your email of 13.10.2018.  The requested information is
appended below:

I. List of published studies considered by the Department of Health ("DH")
in relation to the latest e-cigarette policy;

You may refer to the references quoted in the discussion paper
"Legislative Proposal to Regulate Electronic Cigarettes and Other New
Tobacco Products", which was tabled at the meeting of the Legislative
Council Panel on Health Services on 19 June 2018.
([1]https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr17-18/english...

II. Policy conclusions drawn by the DH from the studies

You may refer to paragraph 181-182 of the The Chief Executive's 2018
Policy Address for the policy conclusion on electronic cigarettes and
other new smoking products, which are appended below for your easy
reference:  
([2]https://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/2018/en...

181. In recent years, the emergence of electronic cigarettes
(e-cigarettes) and other new smoking products has posed new health risk
and challenges. Often packaged as less harmful substitutes with promotion
tactics targeted at youngsters and non-smokers, these products open a
gateway to the eventual consumption of conventional cigarettes. The fact
is: all these new smoking products are harmful to health and produce
second-hand smoke. There is also a lack of sufficient evidence to prove
that these products can help quit smoking. The public may underestimate
the harmful effects of these products and eventually endorse the smoking
image and relevant behaviours once again.

182. Since the Government proposed to legislate for the regulation of
e-cigarettes and other new smoking products in the middle of this year,
the medical professions, education sector, parents and many members of the
public have expressed concerns about the adoption of a regulatory approach
for the issue. They are worried that allowing the sale of e-cigarettes and
other new smoking products with restrictions in the market will not be
adequate to protect public health, and will bring about very negative
impact on children and adolescents in particular. After weighing the pros
and cons of a regulatory approach as opposed to a full ban, I have decided
that, with the protection of public health as the prime consideration, the
Government will submit proposed legislative amendments in this legislative
session to ban the import, manufacture, sale, distribution and
advertisement of e-cigarettes and other new smoking products.

III. The number of e-cigarette users in Hong Kong

Use of e-cigarettes has been included in the Thematic Household Surveys
(THS) conducted by the Census and Statistics Department in 2015 and 2017
respectively.  You may refer to page 20 of the THS 2015 report and page 15
of the THS 2017 report for the results concerned.  In addition, the School
of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong had conducted school-based
surveys on smoking among Primary 4-6 and Secondary 1-6 students in 2014/15
and 2016/17 school years.  The results of the use of e-cigarettes were
also included in the THS 2015 report (pages 125-126) and the THS 2017
report (pages 99-100) respectively.

THS 2015 (Report No. 59)
[3]https://www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B11302...
THS 2017 (Report No. 64)
[4]https://www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B11302...

Yours sincerely,

(Wilfred LAU)
for Director of Health

References

Visible links
1. https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr17-18/english...
2. https://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/2018/en...
3. https://www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B11302...
4. https://www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B11302...

Dear Mr Lau,

Thank you for your reply.

WIth regards to (I), I would like to know the studies considered by the DH but not relied or included in its discussion paper to LegCo.

WIth regards to (II), I would like a conclusion from the DH more detailed than the two paragraphs published in the Policy Address, unless the DH is implying that the the paragraphs are the only written record of the DH's conclusion drawn from the studies consulted on the government's e-cigarette policy.

Yours faithfully,

Kelvin Lee

Department of Health

Dear Mr. LEE,

Thank you for your email dated 24 October 2018.

For (I), the studies quoted in the discussion paper "Legislative Proposal
to Regulate Electronic Cigarettes and Other New Tobacco Products" were the
studies considered in relation to electronic cigarettes policy. Otherwise,
we do not have any record of published studies for policy formulation.

For (II), the Government's latest policy conclusion on electronic
cigarettes and other new smoking products has been presented in The Chief
Executive's 2018 Policy Address, as well as in paragraphs 11 to 13 of the
discussion paper "2018 Policy Address - Policy Initiatives of the Food and
Health Bureau" which was tabled at the meeting of the Legislative Council
Panel on Health Services on 15 October 2018.
([1]https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr18-19/english...
 
 

Yours sincerely,

(Wilfred LAU)
for Director of Health

References

Visible links
1. https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr18-19/english...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Kelvin Lee please sign in and let everyone know.